The White Sox issued their third straight thumping, but this one was over a wild card contender.
Then again, the Royals didn’t look much like a team with October designs. The White Sox peppered them with hits of various quality early, but self-inflicted mistakes added to the collapse. A six-run sixth put this game well out of reach, and put the Sox in rare territory for a rebuilding team.
Reynaldo Lopez benefited from the attack for his first win as a White Sox. He threw a quality start, isolating his problems to the fifth inning, when Kansas City smacked him around a bit.
Lopez got through the first four innings by establishing his fastballs and waiting for the Royals to force his next move. They finally put some traffic on base and made him throw some secondary pitches, they floated on him. Five straight line drives led to four hits and three runs, cutting the White Sox’ lead to 5-3.
But when the Royals needed a shutdown inning, they gave up six runs instead.
Yoan Moncada led off with a single, and he scored on Jose Abreu’s triple standing, even though he dived into second base on a steal attempt and needed a couple seconds to figure out that he needed to keep running. Nicky Delmonico grounded to third, looking like an empty at-bat ... only Mike Moustakas delivered his second bad throw in three innings, firing high and wide and allowing Abreu to score.
Delmonico made it to second on the error and scored on Avisail Garcia’s single through the middle. Garcia almost got doubled up on another hit-and-run attempt, this one an Omar Narvaez lineout to center. Lorenzo Cain’s throw to first was neither on target or cut-offable, and so Garcia stayed alive. He made it to second on a Tim Anderson single, then trotted home on a no-doubt three-run blast by Adam Engel for an 11-3 lead.
From that point, the only drama was Abreu bidding for his second cycle in three days. He came to the plate against Trevor Cahill with two outs in the ninth with two singles, a double and a triple. He fell behind 0-2, fouled off a couple more pitches, but ultimately drew an eight-pitch walk, with the final three pitches he saw nowhere close.
There was plenty of pick-to-click competition tonight. The top of the order went off, as did the guy turning over the lineup.
- No. 9: Engel: 3-for-4, HR, HBP 2 R, 3 RBI, SB
- No. 1: Sanchez: 2-for-5, 2B, BB, 3 R
- No. 2: Moncada: 3-for-6, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
- No. 3: Abreu: 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, BB, 1 R, 2 RBI,
Moncada’s three-hit game was his first, and the first two helped the Sox establish a quick 3-0 lead through two.
Sanchez started the game with a bizarre pop-up single over the head of Moustakas and barely fair, followed by line shots by Moncada (triple into the right-field corner) and Abreu (single to center).
In the second, the Sox found some two-out magic against Jason Hammel. After Tim Anderson and Engel struck out swinging, Sanchez doubled to keep the inning alive and Moncada singled him home.
The fourth inning showed the Royals starting to cave in. Engel reached on a swinging bunt single, followed by a Sanchez walk. Hammel struck out Moncada, but another infield single by Abreu loaded the bases.
The Sox then scored two runs without doing anything. First, Hammel walked Nicky Delmonico on four pitches for a 4-0 lead, prompting Ned Yost to go to the bullpen. In came Peter Moylan, who seemed to get a double-play ball from Avisail Garcia in the direction of Moustakas. Moustakas had a couple options, and he chose to step on third and fire to first. He had time to complete it, but he bounced the throw, Eric Hosmer couldn’t handle the short hop, and Sanchez scored for a 5-0 lead.
*Lopez’s final line: 6+ IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. He gave up a hit to start the seventh, but Gregory Infante stranded the runner with the first of two scoreless innings.
*Delmonico looks like he’s starting to get a handle on left field, as he tracked a number of line drives relatively smoothly.
Record: 57-86 | Box score